Crucible of Words – Comes with Tezzeret as Standard by Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words: Extended in the New Year by Cyrus Bales

After several weeks talking about Extended, I’d like to take a little time out to discuss standard. With the upcoming Pro Tour in Paris this weekend, a lot of eyes are trained on how Mirrodin Besieged will affect the format, today I’ll be looking at just one card in particular, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas.

Standard’s top four decks at present, based off of the numbers, are the three Jace, The Mind Sculptor based control decks(UW, UB and RUG), and Valakut, The Molten Pinnacle decks. Whilst Tezzeret doesn’t directly fit straight into any of these decks, he does offer enough for UB control decks to sculpt around him a bit more, only fourteen or so artifacts are really needed to make him into a powerhouse. There are two main decks that Tezzeret fits into, in both of which, he is accompanied by Jace.

A match made in heaven, Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. With both of these on the field, you are effectively drawing five cards a turn, then putting two on the bottom of your library, this amount of card advantage and selection will happily win you games. Both providing means of protection through bounce and big creature means that losing becomes rather difficult. Tezzeret’s -1 ability means you should be running artifact acceleration, which leads to a regular turn three consisting of either Jace or Tezzeret, without diluting your top decks as they are effectively 5/5’s.

The first of which is a new deck altogether, the heavily pushed mechanic of Infect finally has enough tools to be worth playing, thanks to Inkmoth Nexus, Phyrexian Vatmother and Phyrexian Crusader. Now where does Tezzeret fit into this I hear you ask? Aside from the obvious plan of making Inkmoth Nexus into a two turn clock, Tezzeret can dig down for utility cards, like Brittle Effigy and Ratchet Bomb. However it doesn’t stop there, his power level is such that running cards like Necropede and Plague Myr become much more viable, allowing you to power out a turn three Tezzeret who makes your Myr into a two turn clock. This is incredibly strong, and well worth the inclusion.

The second deck is a re-sculpting of UB control. We saw variants using Trinket Mage and a small package for him in recent months, now you no longer need the Trinket Mage, and can run more artifacts. What Tezzeret does that Jace doesn’t, is provide you with pressure, a stream of 5/5 creatures without having to tap out after having cast Tezzeret is a pretty big deal, and will lock down control match ups, making him as important, if not more important than Jace in the control mirrors. The fact his card advantage option is in fact a +1, makes him much easier to keep alive and sets off his ultimate a lot more often if you need it. Stoic Rebuttal is another card that gains a new lease of life, instead of just being Cancel most of the time, you get to play Counterspell quite often, which is obviously a big incentive for playing this deck. The UB Tezzeret control seems fare just as well as traditional UB control in most matches, but for some of the matches, it just brings much more to the table, to the point where there’s no reason to play UB control without Tezzeret at the moment. A rather ridiculous engine I’ve been toying with for this deck is Liquimetal Coating. Using one or two copies of this gives you a great ability to convert any of your dead lands into monster creatures, not too mention the power of making 5/5 unblockable Creeping Tar Pits. This “Tezzeret’s Factory” engine is certainly powerful and I expect to see it a lot in coming weeks.

So what does the future hold for Mr. T? At the moment his price tag is reasonably attainable, however in coming weeks it looks set to double, his immense power in Vintage will help him hold value, but by October, when Zendikar block rotates out, he looks set to be the most powerful card in the format, which then increases his price tag further. My suggestion? Click on the store link at the top of the page and buy some before they skyrocket in price.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.


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